Air fryer bbq chicken thighs that are so juicy inside and has so much flavor. Ready in less than 30 minutes and can pair with any side dish you choose. Delicious and inexpensive dinner.
Why chicken thighs are so good? Yes, its dark meat and it has more fat that chicken breast but its still a lean healthy protein. Also chicken thighs are so inexpensive and affordable for most people. It all about learning how to cook them correctly, right?
Also dark meat is very juicy and its hard to dry it out. If you overcook thighs they still have a chance to be juicy and tender. This trick will definitely not work with chicken breast.
How to make air fryer bbq chicken thighs
This recipe is very easy. Start with getting chicken thighs and rinsing them with cold running water. This step is optional but i like to clean the meat and poultry i am planning to eat. Just clean the sink after and you are good.
Pat them dry with paper towels. Mix salt, pepper and BBQ sauce in the small bowl. Brush it all over the chicken and don’t forget to add sauce under the skin as well.
Place BBQ chicken thighs in air fryer. You can easily fit 3-4 large thighs in the basket at the same time. Do not overcrowd the basket though, you need air to circulate in the air fryer for the food to be cooked properly.
After about 15 minutes brush thighs with more BBQ sauce. More is better!
Cook for another 10 minutes. Well, thighs vary in sizes so cooking time varies as well. Bigger thighs will take longer to cook. I always check internal temperature. If you don’t have an instant thermometer, just cut a piece of chicken close to the bone. If there is no pink its done.
Also watch for juices. If they are coming out clear with no pink, chicken is cooked all the way and its ready to be served. Chop green onions and sprinkle them on top.
How to choose the right chicken
Most of the chicken sold these days is frozen or been previously frozen. In big supermarkets its probably the only option. When i choose my chicken, i usually just look at the weight of the bird, or bird parts if i am only using thighs or drumsticks.
If the size is too big, skip on that. Usually it happens because there were lots of steroids and hormones used in the production or it just simply too much water in the pack.
I like to buy chilled chicken thighs from local farms. They contain less amount of fat, that’s what i like the most. But i always have couple chickens from Walmart in my fridge you know, just in case!
Recipe tips and tricks
- Thighs vary in size so if you are not sure, always check the internal temperature. It has to be at least 165 for a cooked bird. Stay away from the bone though when checking.
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket. Air fryer needs space for the hot air to properly circulate.
- Do not overcook the chicken. It will become dry and chewy when overcook. Watch the internal temperature.
- You can easily make air fryer skinless chicken thighs. Just remover the skin and cover thighs with BBQ sauce.
- Use BBQ sauce of your choice. It can be traditional American BBQ sauce or try to make this chicken recipe with Korean BBQ sauce. Korean is a bit more runny so might be hard to apply it on the chicken.
- Seasoning. Season chicken to your liking. Add smoked paprika or garlic powder for flavor boost! Or keep it simple like in this recipe, delicious either way.
- If using boneless chicken thighs reduce cooking time because they will cook faster.
Oh, the list of side dishes that goes well with chicken is endless. Try something really plain like white rice. It will soak up some of the chicken BBQ juices and will be delicious.
Make a bowl of mashed or scalloped potatoes and enjoy it with air fryer BBQ chicken thighs. A fresh garden salad will pair so well with chicken. Chop tomatoes, onions and cucumbers and mix with arugula or spinach. Drizzle with olive oil and mix. Voila!
Air fryer boneless chicken thighs
If you choose to remove bones by yourself or buy boneless chicken thighs, you need to remember that they take less time to cook. Cook them for about 5 minutes less, making sure to check the temperature every once in a while.
If you have any leftovers store them in the air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also use just a deep bowl with foil tightly wrapped on top for storage.
You can freeze chicken thighs. Use a freezer friendly container or plastic bag. Freeze for up to 4 months. Reheat in the fridge overnight and than warm it up in the air fryer.
More air fryer recipes
- Air fryer quails
- Air fryer frozen chicken thighs
- Ninja Foodi cornish hens
- Air fryer turkey thighs
- Air fryer catfish nuggets
- Air fryer duck breast
- 3 chicken thighs
- ⅓ cup BBQ sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Get chicken thighs and rinse them with cold water. Chop extra skin off.
- Mix salt and pepper with BBQ sauce and apply half of the amount all over chicken thighs, including under the skin.
- Place them in to the air fryer basket and cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
- Open the air fryer and brush the rest on the bbq sauce on the chicken. Cook for another 10 minutes or until cook though.
- Check the internal temperature, it should be 165 degrees when fully cooked. Or just cut one thigh in the middle and see if its no longer pink and the juices are clear its cooked.